Upper School Posts

October 13, 2014

BECOMING “WORLD-CLASS”: How Deliberate Practice Starts at Dawson and Lasts a Lifetime

Now that we are thoroughly committed to the maelstrom of the new school year, it is a great time to look ahead to how we can grow and who we can become over the next year. As an example, the Dawson Canoe and Kayak Team has never been stronger. This year our athletes have competed in World and National Championships, Junior World Cup racing, and all sorts of races and training camps worldwide. So now there are two questions that you should be asking. One is, “How does all this work and how do I get a piece of the action?” The other question is, “What does it take to become world class?”

Any Dawson student, teacher, coach, or parent should be able to answer the latter question when he or she recalls the school motto: Nothing Without Labor. It takes a great deal of work to get really good at something. My summer reading tells me that it takes 10 years or 10,000 hours of “deliberate practice” to become an expert. This is easier if one loves one’s work, but at some point it still becomes work. Dawson athletes have opportunities to become exposed to all sorts of competition and experiences, whether during sports season or on school study trips. To become world class, our student athletes need to pursue these opportunities and start racking up those 10,000 hours of deliberate practice. What the canoe and kayak team’s most successful athletes have learned over the years is that one has to get on top of one’s school work in order to stay on top of one’s training and racing because year-round training and traveling sometimes means missing school. It turns out that the strategic skills of becoming an excellent, world-class athlete are transferable. Many of my athletes became stronger scholars not despite, but because of the fact they had to miss school to... » read more

More recent posts

September 18, 2014

Stretching to Make the 'Impossible' Possible

Hearing our Upper School students discussing their summer reading recently, I was reminded that one doesn’t always need to search for life’s lessons in the works of Dickens, Whitman, or Bronte: The same lessons can be learned in more modern literature like Divergent, The Hunger Games, and even... » read more
August 04, 2014

Top 12 Things You Need to Know For College

The Top 12 Things You Need to Know When Going Off to College By Stacy Hernandez, Director of College Counseling at Alexander Dawson School   To High School Graduates of the Class of 2014… Going off to college is both scary and exciting. It is an incredible opportunity to... » read more
May 05, 2014

Class of 2014

May 1 was national college decision day and members of the Class of 2014 at Dawson were no different than their national peers in that some of them came right down to the deadline to make a decision.  As a group, they were incredibly successful in the college admissions process and have chosen... » read more
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